Student DBS Checks

September 22nd, 2021 by Jake Waddingham


At this time of the year, we receive a lot of enquiries about applications for students enrolling in courses, that require a student DBS check. The most common questions we receive are ‘Do I need to undertake a DBS check for a student role’ and ‘what level of DBS check do I need for my student’? This article looks to answer the key questions and help clear up some of the uncertainty.

Students may require a DBS check if they are working with children or vulnerable adults as part of their college or university programme. The level of DBS check required for students depends on the role they will perform whilst on placement.

Enhanced DBS checks for students

Colleges and universities can request enhanced DBS checks on students, who as part of their studies, will work in a position of trust with children and/or vulnerable adults. Common college and university programmes that require students to complete an enhanced DBS check for their work placement include:

  • Child Care
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Sports coaching

To be eligible to request either the children’s or adult’s barred list, the student must be in ‘Regulated Activity’. There are specific requirements for the work to be considered ‘Regulated Activity’ and every work placement will be different. Our guides are designed to help establishments assess the student’s role before deciding on the level of check to request.

Children’s barred list – Several questions should be asked to establish whether the student is in ‘Regulated Activity’ with children. The first being, Will the work involve teaching, training or supervising children? ‘Regulated Activity’ also depends on the frequency the student performs the role. For more detailed information please read our web pages specific to regulated activity with children.

Adult’s barred list – Adults are classed as being ‘vulnerable’ if they are in receipt of certain types of care, broken down into six categories. These are health care, personal care, social work, assistance with general household matters, assistance in the conduct of a person’s own affairs and conveying. For more information, please read the pages relating to regulated activity with vulnerable adults.

Are students eligible for Volunteer DBS checks?

This is an important question to ask as the DBS do not charge for volunteer applications. Unfortunately, most student roles do not fall within the DBS’s strict definition of a volunteer:

‘A person engaged in an activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party other than or in addition to a close relative.’

To be classed as a volunteer the student must not:

  • Benefit financially from the job role being applied for.
  • Receive any payment for the role (with the exception of travel and other approved ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses).
  • Be on a work placement.
  • Be in a trainee position that will lead to a full-time role.
  • Be a paid foster carer or a member of a foster carer household.

Therefore, the vast majority of student DBS checks are not eligible for volunteer DBS checks. However, if the student is volunteering for a charity through the college or university which is outside of their qualification you may be eligible to request a volunteer DBS check.

How do I start processing DBS checks for students?

As an established Umbrella Body since 2002, DDC has years of experience working in partnership with colleges and universities to obtain student DBS checks efficiently. DDC’s advanced online platform allows you to initiate, manage and receive results for your student DBS checks. Registration and set-up are free and all you pay for is the checks you add to the system. If the student is paying for their DBS check they can make payment online when completing their check.

Once registered you will be provided access to your ‘Client Area’ and to start the process all we require is basic details of the applicant. If you have multiple courses and would like to separate your DBS checks per programme, we can create multiple accounts at no additional cost.

Why choose DDC for your DBS checks?

Utilising DDC’s specialist online DBS checking services you will benefit from:

Quick and free set-up – you can be processing your student DBS checks the same day with DDC’s free registration and set-up.

Support and advice – you will have access to DDC’s experienced Customer Service Team providing support advice for all your checks. The current team have over 100 years of combined experience within the industry.

Service to suit your needs – with bespoke packages and a flexible system, DDC can accommodate all your courses and programmes. We can also provide support for your staff DBS checks!

Secure and reliable – DDC’s system and processes have obtained ISO9001 and ISO27001 accreditation promising you a secure and reliable service.

Single management interface – manage all your checks with a single interface, using our dynamic Client Area.

Speak to the experts

If you have any further questions before making your final decision, speak to one of our friendly Customer Service Team on 0116 260 3055 | 0845 644 3298 or The team will talk you through the eligibility criteria and ensure that you request a legal and compliant student DBS check.